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war, which is iraq, afghanistan, to some extent pakistan, possibly iran. this is the battle the united states is facing. the balance of power in the region, the iran iraqi, the indo-pakistani. each one of them have destabilized over 10 years. in the air of israel relationship, barring some dramatic change in egypt over time, israel is so dominant that it creates new realities on the ground. there's a difference to what the united states really says very often. in afghanistan the united states is asking pakistan to do things that create stability, that will weaken pakistan, that potentially cratered an independent regional power in india, that the united states may not appreciate in the long run. and, of course, the invasion of iraq has destroyed the iraq power, they're forgetting nuclear weapons. iran is the dominant conventional military force in the region. if the united states is there. the united states as its policies to withdraw from iraq, the potential for iran to fill the vacuum is extremely high. that in turn changes the balance of power, orderlies the political dynamic in the
the afghanistan campaign. and there we find another find of the coffee out. it turns out -- caveat. it turns out some allies simply do not wish to make more where there were no shooting battles. some did it one to fight unless they have helicopters there were all of these rules than pretty soon we started to see the folks who wanted to send soldiers out to the field to have almost insulting checklist so this starts to develop in buy the way i am very careful when a make a statement about the caveat because i don't mean in any way to cut down on the bravery of the troops who are helping us americans out there. and the germans are not very willing to fight because of a historical precedent. it is very difficult for the germans to get over second world war history. please don't and feud any other motive into that. so now you have a copy ought with afghanistan where we're not prepared to use the allies because it is a different kind of four in technology have left them behind and estonia started to do something the russians didn't like then there was a cyberattack that plan and the estonian governme
of this year and removing the rest of the 33,000 u.s. search wars from afghanistan by the end of the summer in 2012. these reductions are part of an ongoing process of transitioning increasing responsibility for afghanistan security, the afghan security forces, which by 2014 would have leader was on stability for security throughout the country. the chorus which the company says provides a strategy for success in afghanistan. the afghan security forces have increased by almost 100,000 since the president announced the surge in december december 2009.afghan army will expand by another 70,000 security forces by the time all of the u.s. surge forces are brought home by september of 2012. the growing capabilities of the afghan security forces provide the afghan people would want melter of afghan elders have asked eunice and told me that they want the most, which is the ability to secure their own country themselves. having ask you forces in the lead puts the lie to the taliban propaganda that international forces are there to occupy afghanistan. the afghans taken over their own security is the
side the something was not right. something was not right. then let's move on to afghanistan. there came a time when it -- by the way, if you have not read about the account of what a few hundred special forces and armed cia people did in a few weeks in afghanistan after a sit-in for 11th, it is really worth reading. basically destroyed the camps, just a few hundred of them, including some wonderful cavalry horse charges. it's quite a story. but, in 2003 in the united nations says we need to know start stabilizing afghanistan. native took over the afghanistan campaign. and there we find yet another fault line developing. vendettas of fall line whose so-called caveat. some european allies simply did not wish to make war. it wanted areas where there were no shootings. others didn't want to fight at night. some didn't want to fight unless they have helicopters and so on. there were all these roles. we started to see folks who wanted to send soldiers out into the field consulting checklists to see what soldiers you could send out and what you could not. so this starts to develop.
, that there is no military solution to conflicts we're fighting today as in iraq, as in afghanistan, that in the end the resolution of this will be a political matter. and you say that's wrong. the first order of business in winning a war is to kill the enemy fighters. very forthright statement, but one that does go against the grain. and i would ask you to look at afghanistan today and assess whether you think that approach of killing enemy fighters is going to lead us to something that could be called a military solution. >> guest: yes, i do but i'm not saying the military solution is the only part of the solution that matters. there has to be that military solution. there has to be the position of a mine any enemy that you're going to get killed if you go up against the americans. i think that's what's going on in afghanistan now. there was something in iraq in the awakening of the sunnis to the rest of the country, the idea that this is a tribal battle but the americans are not going to be the strongest try. i think that is something that is now being impressed upon the various elements, the tal
occupation, especially, afghanistan, especially, iraq and increasingly, the spillover of afghanistan into pakistan is causing a huge number of attacks there. and so what's been occurring is not just a large number of suicide attacks but a large number of anti-american-inspired suicide attacks. >> so besides the obvious policy of pulling out, is there another policy? >> absolutely. >> to prevent this. >> because pulling out, simply abandons our interests, ignores our interests. what this book suggests is a middle ground policy called offshore balancing. offshore balancing continues to pursue our core security interests and obligations in overseas regions but does so with over the horizon, naval power, intelligence assets, relies on economic assets and political tools and this is the core policy that we pursue as the united states for decades in major regions of the world, such as the middle east with great success, and we should return to this policy. >> can you give us specifics about how we should pursue the policy in the middle east. >> in the 1970s and '80s, the united states had
, for example capture someone like i'm in also was yuri and yemen outside of afghanistan, for example, could we detain and at that detention facilities bear? >> we would not recommend that. >> why is that? >> afghanistan is a sovereign country. >> so we're not going to use detention cell at these to detain terrorists captured outside the territory of afghanistan? >> is not her attention. >> following up, admiral, with respect to detention, if we were to capture all that was yuri -- although heery and gather intelligence in detaining him long-term because we thought we needed to underlie floor, where would we hold? >> yes, ma'am, that is a policy question i am not in a position to answer from the military standpoint. obviously we can hold al-zawahiri or anywhere al-awlaki in a number of places. it becomes a policy issue and general allen said we afflict a number times that whether or not we do that in afghanistan. but the nature of the sovereignty of afghanistan and concerned about potential backlash from the afghan government, we have recommended not to do that. >> admiral, would it not be hope
about nation building, failed states, afghanistan, iraq, somalia, iraq, haiti, the foreign policy challenges that we've faced weapon have the illusion which i would call the problem of getting to denmark. denmark is in quotations. it's not a real country. it's the mythical place that have low corruption, democracy, stable government, good services delivered very efficiently and so forth. we have the vision of denmark in the back of our heads and go to a place like afghanistan. how are we going to get afghanistan to look like denmark? and it doesn't work very well. and part of the reason that i began to realize was that we don't understand how denmark got to be denmark. i had a visiting professorship, so i've been going. most danes have no idea how denmark got to be denmark. it struck me as a political scientist, this ought to be a book you can go to to say where did political institutions come from. i didn't see one. so i decided to write it. that's why we get the book that i've produced. so i also did not want to write a book on the origins of politics that told this traditional
persecuted because they are christians, whether it be in afghanistan, whether it be in pakistan or in the egypt and all over, the two questions that i have. how many convictions have there been over the last several years? and how many occasions do you know where the american embassy has advocated for these cases? because generally been there is a problem for the members go to the and become the advocate for how many convictions do you know have been cases brought in the egyptian courts and how many times has the american embassy participated and been involved in any different case? >> thank you very much, mr. wolfe. there has been in the 50 cases of i was involved with personally, there were two investigations. meter investigation resulted in any legal process. so there are no convictions resulting as the complaints to the effect of kidnapping forced marriages and forced conversions of coptic christian women. to my knowledge also and according to my research, the u.s. embassy has not advocated on behalf of these women. >> one nice thing, mr. chairman, as you have the record i u
.a. estimates that the number of iraq and afghanistan veterans in its health care system will reach well over half a million at some point next year. that is this aisn' this a 100% e 2008. this is a big challenge and one that we have no choice but to step up to meet if we're going to avoid some of the same mistakes we saw with the vietnam generation. that's why this bill includes nearly $3 billion to meet the health care needs of veterans who served in iraq and afghanistan, which is a nearly $600 million increase over last year. but it is more than just the sheer number of new veterans that will be coming home to the v.a. in the near near future. it is the extent of their wounds, both visible and invisible, that will require an untold resource from our nation. you know, through the wonders of modern medicine service members who would have been lost in previous conflicts are coming home to live productive and fulfilling lives. but they will need a lifetime of care from the v.a. and that's why part of this bill includes significant investments for research in a number of areas, including trauma
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
how many of the current inhabitants of guantanamo were arrested in countries other than afghanistan and pakistan. with the help of pakistan. so i think that sometimes we just go from one end of greek allies, great friends which is what was your longtime, in the previous administration, two gosh, these guys are no good, et cetera. this is not the way to do business between two allies and partners. and i think we will not interpret the remarks as a letter. we understand them to be a reflection of american statement of policy, and the americans have the right to defend their homeland by ensuring that terrorists are plotting against the american homeland are dealt with. but as far as the other concern, we are very confident of our sovereignty. we would like to protect our sovereignty. and sovereignty requires that when operations take place in pakistan they should take place without knowledge and our participation. >> a quick follow. does that mean if there's a second rate, that your forces would fire on the rich? >> when i became ambassador to the united states, i went and saw very goo
challenge to the military will leave afghanistan and iraq around the world the budget challenges that face the country. in little over a month, we will mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. we will honor the victims of that day including 184 people who were tragically taken out by the attack on this very building. and we will renew our commitment to america's dern ability to remain vigilant to these old and new threats that we face, and we are going to redouble with your leadership our efforts to disrupt and feet the terrorists who continue to plot against the united states adding to the great work you have done over the agency. and we will express the american people's appreciation for our armed services, and i might add, and all of you know this who wear a uniform, and your family. the families of the 9/11 generation -- and it's hard to think about it, at least for me, from 9/11, we are, you know, we are ten years away from that day. a lot of these kids were 12 to 15 and under at the time the attack took place and the stepped up this younger generation stepped up to the fact of not just th
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
it illegal for women to attend to school in afghanistan. while this particular policy was discarded in 2001, similar deplorable circumstances still exist in afghanistan and around the world. the limitations and implications of existing education systems are far-reaching. yet there are concrete steps that can correct the damaging nature of existing education systems or the lack thereof. any institutions with international jurisdiction can and must institute global education programs including early childhood and vocational programs. early childhood education such aspiration head start provides comprehensive health, education and parent involvement to low-incomed families in the united states. vocational education is a further means of empowerment. by powering the technical skills and training to make individuals valuable members of the work force, such educational programs can also be recognized for their economic value. early childhood education as well as vocational training and educational opportunities are all viable in empowering programs that must be instituted in a global context. edu
from the iraq and afghanistan wars are real. that's c.b.o. saying it. not some democrat who's hoping and praying for an easy fix. this completely undercuts the arguments by republicans who have tried to call these savings a gimmick, even though they included them in their own budget and voted for them only a few months ago. if it was knock their budget -- if it was okay in their budget, it's got to be okay in our budget. you can't just change your mind based on whose budget it is. the substance should matter to some extent. plus, since the c.b.o. will only measure the plan's first draft before aofficial plan savings were incorporated into the bill, the final version will achieve even deeper savings when it is filed on the floor. as "politico" reports this morning, "in the battle of budget scores, the senate democratic deficit-reduction bill is the clear winner thus far over an alternative by speaker john boehner." and lastly, senator reid's proposal allows for a joint committee that has the potential to achieve even deeper savings down the road to get our country back on the path to
be in afghanistan and? >> that's what i said, i think this is a debate that we can actually have because i think you can make and argue for it. at the same time, i -- it is a kind of academic question. i just don't think it's going to happen. >> your great grandfather would say we have to have these academic questions. don't go playing fdr on me. >> a damn sight better,úg c something. yeah, you know, i think that one of the things to remember about these brothers and one the reasons why g i think looking at their stores is really valuable is they were really working out how to answer some of these questions, and there was an urgency because there were new0ñ questions. they felt them. and these are questions that we just don't feel. you know, the kind of tension between your responsibilities as individuals, your responsibilit as a citizen, ethics versus morality. these all sound academic terms, but when he came down to it it's like are you going to die for your country? are you going to -- choose a@ side in such a way that it's not unequal, not as unjust. we had huge structural problems in this c
savings on the mandatory side and savings from winding down the war in iraq and afghanistan. these are savings that cbo scores of about a trillion dollars, that cbo scoring them at a trillion dollars. now we know some republicans will quibble over the savings but they have no leg to stand on. though war is the second-biggest policy driver of the deficit after the bush tax cuts. if conducting the war ads to the debt, it is undeniable winding down the war deliver savings. the administration tells us with the wind down their putting in place in the iraq and afghanistan, they can prosecute the war on about $630 billion over the next decade. cbo, however, assumes 1.67 trillion in war funding for 2021. by adopting the administration's lower number, we can save over a trillion. we know the republicans agree with this because they included the exact same savings in the wrong and budget that passed the house. i never criticized such accounting then and it's hard to see how they could do so now. last, senator reid's proposal allows a joint committee that has the potential to achieve e
for women to attend school in afghanistan. of this particular policy was discarded in 2001, similar deplorable circumstances still exists in afghanistan and around the world. the limitations and implications of existing education systems are far reaching, yet they are concrete steps that can be taken to work toward combating the cyclical and damaging nature of existing education systems or lack thereof. any institution international jurisdiction can and must answer to global education programs including early childhood in the case of programs. early so that education such as operation head start provides comprehensive health and education, and parent involvement to low-income families. providing technical skills and training to make individual valuable members of the workforce. sets educational programs can also be recognized for their economic dahlia. early sell their education as well as vocational training and educational opportunities are of viable and empowerment programs that must be instituted in a global context. education is a powerful thing and can be central and working t
to advocate for people who are being persecuted because they're christians whether it be in afghanistan, pakistan or egypt. and the two questions that i have, how many connections have there been -- convictions have there been over the last several years, do you have any -- and how many occasions do you know where the american embassy has advocated for these cases? generally, when there's a problem, members go to the embassy, they advocate it. how many times has the american embassy participate and been involved in any different cases? >> thank you very much, mr. wolf. there have been, in the 50 cases i was involved with personally, there were two investigations, neither investigation resulted in any legal process, so there are no convictions, um, resulting as of, as of complaints to the effective kidnappings, forced marriages and forced converses of coptic christian women. to my knowledge, also, and according to my research the u.s. embassy has not advocated on behalf of these women. >> one last thing, mr. chairman. as you have this record, i urge you to send it to leon panetta. our mi
believes we would have been in iraq past 2,004 or we would still be in afghanistan >> that's what i just said. this is a debate we can actually have because i think it's, you know, you can make an argument, at the same time i -- it's the kind of academic question. i don't feel it's going to happen. >> but your great-grandfather would say we have to have these. islamic academic arguments, g maybe. >> don't go pleading fdr on me. >> yeah, you know, one of the things to remember about the brothers and looking at the story is valuable is they were really working out how to answer some of these questions and there was an urgency because the new questions and they felt them and these are questions we just don't feel the kind of tension between the responsibilities of individual, responsibility as a citizen, efiks versus morality, the sound academic terms but@ when it came down to it's like are you going to die for your country, are you going to change society in such a way that it's not as equal or unjust we have huge structural problems in thiñ country. our property right is like 22%,k seco
the war's we have got accustomed to with vietnam, iraq, afghanistan is they are fraught mostly and there are very few among fed dead and wounded who were sensa and daughters of ceos, senators, members of congress or anything like that. it was the exact opposite and avert -- first world war the death toll fell proportionally higher on the upper class. the main reason for that was it was customary four sons of the upper class and aristocracy to have military careers. one major reason for this is that armies are not only there to fight wars against other countries but to maintain order at home. the 19th century was a tumultuous time in europe so was yearly 20th century and european armies were used to break strikes with the british army put down rebellions in ireland and so therefore the officer was generally reserved for those of the upper class is meeting when the country's went to war in 1914 come in the upper class is suffer the enormous toll. for example,, for the 30 graduates of the 10 killed in a single day, the first day of the battle in 1916 come the men who graduated fro
in afghanistan in a strategy of nation building that is not the best use of our national security, not the best use of our soldiers who are there to fight for our national security, but those are decisions that were made in the past. and we must pay the bill on those decisions even when i disagreed with them. and then we need to put together a plan that takes on our deficit and our debt, and that plan has to put all of the options on the table. some of my colleagues across the aisle, they said, well, we want to protect the tax spending programs where we've tucked in tax provisions for the wealthy and the well connected. we want to defend those. we don't want to touch those for the best-off americans. but we want to cut the programs for working americans. that is unacceptable. we have seen enormous increase in the disparity between the wages and welfare of our citizens in general and the best-off becoming much, much wealthier proportionately. we can't continue to say that we're going to protect the well-connected while attacking working families. that's not the america we want to build. we want
military to be getting the news in afghanistan and iraq of all the upheaval in washington, because they're getting the news, of course. and for them to worry, oh, my gosh what happens august 2 if my paycheck isn't there or my wife or my husband -- for my wife or my husband to be able to use that to pay our mortgage or the basic expenses? i just want to put it in perspective here. we have people in the military with boots on the ground by the thousands that are making under $20,000 a year. now, those are people who are living paycheck to paycheck. they don't have the luxury of having a big savings account with that kind of income, and especially if they've got children. my goodness, they're making under $18,000 a year, some of these younger junior members of the enlisted corps. so i don't think we ought to make them worry for ten seconds if they can pay their basic bills for their housing and the food for their families. in my state of texas, there are 28,000 brave men and women deployed in the support of operations in iraq and afghanistan. there are more than 97,000 service members depl
to continue going into another country's civil war when we have such commitments in afghanistan and iraq. when we are overdeploying our troops, when we are spending money that we are having to borrow, when we are taking the lion's share of this responsibility for our allies. many of us think that we shouldn't be adding another country where it's supposed to be a support function, but we all know that that is what leads to something more and then something more, and i thought senator lugar said it very well; then you have the aftermath of the end of a civil war and the responsibilities for that so this is not the time, in my opinion, to be giving that kind of authority to the president, but above that, above that, we are here because there is a crisis pop which i think -- upon which i think we have a united view of the goal, and that is to put our fiscal house in order so we're not united in the united states senate about how to do it so let's have that debate this week. let's have that debate that says we should be spending more or we should be spending less, that we should be taxing more or t
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
'm not a warmonger i don't want another war. we are already tied up in iraq, afghanistan and for some reason libya. but the only way to stop iran is with clear military force. sanctions are great but at the end of the day they are not going to work. at the end of the day iranian regime is motivated by, again, an ideology. it's a messianic ideology. they truly believe and they will shape policy around this, the iranian government truly believe that they can punish in the end times. >> host: this would be the 12th? >> guest: that goes by various names. he is the islamist must live. this all sounds crazy i know but they really believe this. the likes of ahmadinejad. they believe that if they strike out against israel, if they acquire nuclear weapons, if there's a ton of great global chaos and a people which are seeing right now with this arab spring, they believe that can hasten the return of the islamist messiah who believed lead them to victory over israel and the west. so acquiring nuclear weapons is part of that divine plan. nothing will deter them or dissuade them from this goal. they believe it
to pakistani scholars. i am pleased to see maybe one of those scholars re-ask con whose new book on afghanistan was written while he was a scholar is with us today. rh a program has undertaken an extensive review of the economics assistance program and we will roll out the conclusions of that later this year. the house foreign affairs committee yesterday, sand that means walled off running for economic assistance and military assistance to pakistan until the president certifies that the area has adequate cooperation on counterterrorism. that is just one house committee but that is a move that some feel including me may go in the wrong direction, economic assistance i would argue is absolutely crucial. president musharraf's speech this morning comes in a timely moment. relations between our two countries are more strained today than at any time in the past 10 years. eight of our countries needs the other for the achievement of important strategic object this. yet most of the public discussion of the bilateral relationship focuses on our divisions and are as agreements. perhaps a day's session wi
iraq and afghanistan sooner than many here would like or that the president would like, and save substantial sums if we do that. most certainly if we're going to go forward with shared sacrifice, yes, we do have to ask billions, despite all of their power and all of their campaign contributions and all of their lobbying, maybe the billionaires who are doing phenomenally well may have to contribute to deficit reduction. yes, maybe those companies that stash their money in tax hyphens in pwerpld and the cayman eye hraldz -- in bermuda and the cayman islands, maybe they are going to have to start paying their fair share. on my web site which is sanders.senate.gov, i put a small letter which said to the president, mr. president, stand tall. take on these right-wing ideologues who want to make devastating cuts to working families. and in a couple of weeks we have 135,000 signatures on that letter, and i think that letter reflects what the american people want. they want shared sacrifice. they do not want to see the elderly, the kids or working families being battered more and more, es
-- vietnam, iraq, afghanistan -- is that they are fought mostly by the poor. there are very, very few among the dead and wounded in the those three wars who have been sons or daughters of ceos, senators, members of congress, anything like that. it was the exact opposite in the first world war. the death toll actually fell proportionately higher on the upper classes. and the main reason for that was that it was customary for sons of the upper classes, sons of the air strock rah si to have military careers. and i think a major reason for this is that armies are not only there to fight wars against other countries, they're there to maintain order at home. the 19th century was a very tumultuous time in europe, so was the early 20th century. many of the european armies were used to break strikes or the british army, you know, put down tenant farmer rebellions in ireland. and so, therefore, officering the army was something that was generally reserved for people in the upper classes. this meant that when these countries went to war in 1914, these upper classes suffered an enormous toll. for examp
to the president of the united states, as an example, we want you to continue to wage war in afghanistan at the cost of $10 billion a month, this president knows that he will have to borrow about $4 billion a month to meet that congressional appropriation. you see, we borrow about 40 cents for every dollar we spend. similarly, when it comes to the payments that we make to our veterans, who are disabled, we have promised them we will pay you, because you served our country and you lost a limb or you were injured and we will compensate you for that loss for the rest of your life. we need in making that commitment that we're also making a commitment to borrow the money necessary to do it. so periodically a president will come to congress and say, i understand our obligations which you have sent to me and i have approved, and now i ask you to extend my authority to borrow the money to meet those obligations. that has happened 89 times since 1939. since we passed this law, presidents of both parties have come to congress and asked for that authority. and aceman as i mentioned, not d congress
spending at all levels, including the military, as we bring our troops home from afghanistan. and, yes, it needs to look at the money that we spend through our tax code -- and we've talked about this over and over again. we need to have a balanced approach, a credible approach to manage our debt. and that should be our first option. but under no circumstances should we allow america to default on its obligations, causing harm to every american family. i urge-colleagues to put the national -- i urge my colleagues to put the national interests first, to take off the table the default on our debt, take that off the table, let's put the national interest first, work together to bring about a credible plan to manage our national debt. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and suggest the an -- before i do that, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
voting, for example, on the war in afghanistan, they are committing the united states of america to spending spending $10 billion a month in defense of our men and women in uniform, members of our family who are over there waging this war. they voted for that. now president obama has said to them the bill's coming in for the war in afghanistan, i have to borrow money to pay for it. and these same members of congress, house and senate, who voted for the war in afghanistan are now saying we won't pay the bills, we won't extend the debt ceiling, we won't allow you, mr. president, to borrow the money to sustain our military forces in afghanistan. that is literally what we're talking about here in this debate. the american people are starting to come to understand it because when you first ask a person do you want to extend the debt ceiling, the obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? why would i want more debt in this country? we need less debt, not more. don't you get it? understandably, that's the public reaction, but when you go to the point of explaining that this is to pay
abroad in iraq and afghanistan and new entitlement program unpaid for, and a marketplace that instead of being a free market, which i support, became a free-for-all market in which investor decisions end up becoming collective risks to the entire country. and that's what we have been facing. instead of meeting this responsibility, they favor cuts in entitlements to seniors, to the disabled, the families struggling to make ends meet, to students seeking to get the college education that can help fuel america's prosperity. that's what we saw in the house republican budget that passed. but are willing to decimate our nation's economy to protect entitlements for the rich. they've dug in their heels and walled off irresponsible, unnecessary tax breaks for big oil companies. they've walled off entitlements to multibillion-dollar corporations and millionaires who need no entitlements because they believe, blinded by their ideological haze, that the rich are entitleed to their outrageous ways even if it means ballooning the deficit and sending the nation into default on its debt. entitlements
of ours in afghanistan and in other trouble spots across the globe. that's personally important to me because 100 years ago this year my grandfather immigrated from crow shay to this country, john begich. then it was spelled p-e-c-g-i-c. he left his farmer and eventually settled in northern minnesota in the iron range. he and his young bride anna had four children, their youngest nikolas, made his way to america's new frontier, alaska, even before we were a staivment he was my father. nick was an educator and eventually was elected alaska's lone member of the united states house of representatives in 1970. i'm honored to follow in his footsteps as a member of the senate, where i'm the only member of croatian dissent. my recent visit was my first to croatia. i was honored to represent the body at the summit along with officials from the state department and u.s. embassy. i was impressed by the great progress under way there as well as the excellent job being performed by our embassy personnel. there are enormous opportunities for partnership between the united states and croatia and i
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